Homicide

New Hampshire man asks to have murder sentence suspended

  • FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2006, file photo Eric Windhurst sits between his lawyers Mark Sisti, left, and Aime Cook in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Windhurst, who got away with murder for 20 years now wants his sentence reduced to the 10 years he’s already served. Windhurst was 17 when he fatally shot a friend’s stepfather, Paquette, after the friend told him that Paquettte had sexually abused her. A hearing is set for April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2006, file photo Eric Windhurst sits between his lawyers Mark Sisti, left, and Aime Cook in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, N.H. Windhurst, who got away with murder for 20 years now wants his sentence reduced to the 10 years he’s already served. Windhurst was 17 when he fatally shot a friend’s stepfather, Paquette, after the friend told him that Paquettte had sexually abused her. A hearing is set for April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2005, file photo Eric Windhurst walks into the Hooksett District Court in Hooksett, N.H., charged with the shooting death of Danny Paquette. Windhurst, who got away with murder for 20 years now wants his sentence reduced to the 10 years he’s already served. Windhurst was 17 when he fatally shot a friend’s stepfather, Paquette, after the friend told him that Paquettte had sexually abused her. A hearing is set for April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2005, file photo Eric Windhurst walks into the Hooksett District Court in Hooksett, N.H., charged with the shooting death of Danny Paquette. Windhurst, who got away with murder for 20 years now wants his sentence reduced to the 10 years he’s already served. Windhurst was 17 when he fatally shot a friend’s stepfather, Paquette, after the friend told him that Paquettte had sexually abused her. A hearing is set for April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2006, file photo Melanie Copper looks back at her children after being sentenced to three to six years in prison for her part in helping her stepfather's murder. The death went unsolved for two decades, until Copper cooperated with police and Eric Windhurst pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to a minimum 15-year prison term. He's now asking for a sentence reduction. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2006, file photo Melanie Copper looks back at her children after being sentenced to three to six years in prison for her part in helping her stepfather's murder. The death went unsolved for two decades, until Copper cooperated with police and Eric Windhurst pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to a minimum 15-year prison term. He's now asking for a sentence reduction. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)  (The Associated Press)

A New Hampshire man who got away with murder for 20 years now wants his sentence reduced to the 10 years he's already served.

Forty-eight-year-old Eric Windhurst was 17 when he fatally shot a friend's stepfather, Danny Paquette, after the friend told him that Paquette had sexually abused her.

Windhurst pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2006 and was sentenced to 15 to 36 years. He has petitioned to have the balance of his sentence suspended. A hearing is set for April 21.

Paquette's stepdaughter, Melanie Cooper, provided information leading to Windhurst's 2005 arrest. Her three- to six-year sentence was reduced to 15 months. She was released in 2008.

Windhurst's lawyer argues that he should be freed as well, saying Cooper manipulated him into killing Paquette.

Prosecutors strongly oppose Windhurst's release.